Texas – Two lawsuits filed against trucking firms which haul water to various hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) sites have recently been settled for $11.5 million in total.
The 1st accident took place on 22nd June, 2011 as the right of the way on a state highway close to Carthage (TX) was blocked by a semitrailer. Mr. Mike Allen hit a massive truck. The owner of the truck was Heckmann Water Resources (HWR), a company based in Coraopolis, PA. The truck stopped on the highway without flashing lights or giving turn signals, reports indicate.
The attorney representing Mr. Allen said his client is no longer capable to support his family financially due to the injuries he got in the accident. His family consists of wife and a daughter. On 20th June, a United States federal court approved the settlement in which HWR agreed to pay $8.7 million to Allen. Legal experts say this is the largest settlement in such a case in the history of Panola County.
The 2nd settlement is linked to a truck accident took place on 11th September, 2011. The crash occurred close to Weatherford (TX). As a result of the accident, Mr. Arron Gomas is now suffering from brain damage, says his attorney. Mr. Gomas is 32 years old. The accident occurred after Gomas broadcasted a tractor trailer as the driver of the truck tried to make a wrong and illegal U-turn just before midnight. The owner of the tractor trailer was Bob Phillips Trucking (Phillips Water Hauling) based in Weatherford, Texas.
The defendant agreed to pay Gomas $3 million in compensation. The settlement was fixed on 13th June. His attorney said $3 m award was the highest payout that the insurance carrier of the trucking company has ever given.
Bob Phillips Trucking’s Diane Lamb said the accident was not the fault of the company. He said the settlement decision was taken by their insurance company.
The attorney represented the plaintiffs said his clients suffered awful injuries as the defendant companies failed to abide by federal regulations. He said the companies forgot to give priority to human safety. Safety should be the top priority always, he said. He said the energy industry is rapidly growing and has brought unbelievable revenue to the state. However, he says, the roads in Texas are becoming increasingly dangerous day after day because of the industry’s tremendous growth.